Saturday, October 12, 2019

review: Entrails

Rise of the Reaper
Metal Blade Records
11 October 2019
Sound: This Swedish band’s sixth album continues the sound since their debut album in 2010, which is dedicated lock, stock, barrel to giving fans classic-style Stockholm death metal in the perfect package signed, sealed and delivered with the adoration of loyal raving lunatic zealots, from the logo onwards.
Production: The sound quality is clear and contemporary. The style is from the old school, but the production is from the new school. The guitars, drums and vocals are easy to hear. There is some background effects/sounds in some songs for atmosphere. The bass guitar is not particularly prominent, but the album does not lack bottom end. The drums are rather loud, especially compared to the old early 1990s Swedish death metal albums. On the other hand, the drums do not like real, live drums but like sampled drumming, sadly.
Instrumentation: The band focuses more on delivering a contemporary production. The songs have big grooves. The guitar sound is awesome, but the riffs do not stand out as much as the production, unfortunately. There are some songs that have pretty good guitar solos and for some of them, you’ll definitely notice the soloing. As for the drumming, there’s not much to say because it’s difficult to know when it’s not clear that band has taken the time to have real human drumming on the album. Bring back the drummer!
Vocals: Besides some of the soloing, it is the vocals that stand out. The gruff, low growling is strong and some of it is intelligible. The gruff growling and this music are made for each other.
Songs: The music is predictable, yes, the band is a follower of the old school, yes, yes, but if you are a big, big fan of the style or you are new to death metal and you would like to hear a contemporary interpretation of classic-style Swedish death metal, these songs are a good illustration.
Lyrics: The band focuses on the normal topics of gruesome death, horror and things like that.
Potential audience: The fanatics of old Swedish death metal are hereby called to assemble at this ceremony of celebration.
Similar bands: Nihilist/Entombed; Carnage/Dismember, and the followers of that sound.
Assessment: When you listen to Entrails you are listening for a certain sound that you want, the sound of classic-style Swedish death metal that emerged in the late 1980s. You are listening for the production job, the old-school growling vocals and the guitar tone. When you listen to Entrails you are listening to a celebration of Nihilist/Entombed and Carnage/Dismember, and those other bands, and you are listening to celebrate the legacy of Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and of the legacy of the producer Thomas Skogsberg. This is the music of the most gifted students and devotees of classic Swedish death metal. On the other hand, all these songs fall in line with that style. This band dare not do anything to rock the boat, step out of line, and go wandering into new territories. What you see is what you get, bang your head in 2019 like it is 1989.

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